10 Islamic Acts of Charity Not Involving Money

Allah emphasises the importance of charity throughout the Qur’an and Sunnah and it is one of the greatest ways to control our nafs from becoming corrupted through greed, miserliness and stinginess. The poor and needy who accept charity feel fortunate and thankful whereas in reality the one who should be thankful is the giver, the one whom Allah has blessed with the chance to spend towards their home in the hereafter. Charity protects and preserves us to the extent that the prophet  (salalallahu alayhi wa salam) was reported to have said:

“Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 589

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has blessed some of us with abundant wealth, some of us have enough to get by, some haven’t got a penny to their name and others are overwhelmed with the burden of debt. Those who do not have the means to spend in charity should not fret as Allah is the most Just of those who show justice. Here are 10 islamic acts of charity every single one of us can fulfil for abundant reward that lies with the most Generous of those who show generosity:

1. Tasbeeha:

Glorifying Allah by saying Subhan Allah, Alhamdulilah, La illaha illalah, Allahu akbar are acts of charity that are so easily performed anywhere and at anytime. Whether you are in seclusion inside the masjid or on your way to and from your place of work, these are words that are light on the tongue and heavy on the scales. [Source: Sahih Muslim]

2. A kind word:

A good word is an act of charity. Using the most noble of speech when conversing with everyone is rewarded by Allah. Your kind words are an indication of your faith because the prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam told us:”Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith.” (Muslim). Unfortunately it’s become somewhat of a stereotype amongst ‘practicing’ muslims where the more they observe the commandments of Allah, the stricter and harsher they become with the people. This is contrary to the teachings of Islam, sincere knowledge that you seek for the sake of Allah is supposed to humble you, make you aware of your words and how they affect others and make the people happy to be advised by you. However this is another topic altogether! [Source: Bukhari & Muslim]

3. A smile: 

It still baffles me how a religion that rewards the worshipper for smiling at his brother can ever be seen as aggressive! A simple stretch of a few muscles in your face earn you a reward that could stand between you entering Jannah or entering Jahannam wa iyadhu billah. It’s an act of charity that you give not only to the needy or the poor but to even the wealthiest of your brothers or sisters in Islam, those who you know closely and those who you merely pass on the street never to see again. [Source: Tirmidhi]

4. Every Step Toward Prayer:

From the moment you make wudhu to the few seconds you spend walking to your place of prayer you’re in a state of worship that many of us do not even realise! Each step you take is rewarded by Allah as if you have given in charity. Especially when praying in the masjid it is recommended to walk for those who can do in order to increase your reward with Allah. The more steps you take, the greater the reward. Those whose houses are furthest away from the masjid are the forerunners! [Source: Bukhari & Muslim]

5. Removing Harm from the Road:

The next time you’re out and about in the city and you walk past something that could make someone trip or hurt themselves, take care of it, dispose of it and regard it as an act of charity in the way of Allah. Rasulallah salallahu alayhi wa salam told us that removing any harm from the road is considered to be an act of charity. Put aside your pride, your ego, your busy schedule and never belittle any act that can tip your scale of deeds in your favour. [Source: Bukhari & Muslim]

6. Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil:

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala personally praised every single member of this Ummah in the Qur’an when He said in the Qur’an: “Kuntum khaira ummatin ukhrijat linnaas.” You are the best nation produced for mankind. Subhan Allah… Allah has honoured us in the best way. The reason why Allah praised us for being the best of mankind is stated next in the ayah: “Ta’maruna bil ma’ruufi wa tanhawna ‘anil munkari wa tu’minuna billah.” You enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and believe in Allah. Not only is enjoining good and forbidding evil an obligation upon every member of this ummah, it is an act of charity on your behalf! The next time you see an evil, do not ignore it but advise in the best way possible knowing that you will be rewarded, whether they accept your advice or not. [Source: Muslim]

7. Settling Disputes:

Our family members, friends, brothers and sisters within our ummah are bound to fall into disputes and arguments. Reconciling between two people is a noble and charitable act and one of the situations where it actually becomes permissible to even lie in order to achieve it. For example, informing one party that the other feels regret and sorrow over their dispute, even if this is not true, comes under the heading of lies that are not considered to be haraam. Rasulallah salallahu alayhi wa salam tells us that: “Bringing about justice between two is an act of charity.” [Bukhari & Muslim]. Be an arbitrator between people, do not ignite the flames of discord and do not be a cause of disruption for others. Earn the reward for a charitable act that makes Allah pleased with you and consequently the people pleased with you.

8. Intimacy With Your Spouse:

It’s almost mind boggling to know that acts that are enjoyable to ourselves are rewarded by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. One of the purposes of marriage as we all know is to prevent us falling into haraam. By being loving with your spouse you are not only fulfilling your own happiness but you are in an act of worship as you are actively staying away from committing sins. It would be enough for us to be granted a loving companion who helps us strive through the troubles and trials of this destructive world. To help one another please Allah and accompany each other in Jannah is already a blessing in itself, but on top of that Allah rewards us for it as if we have given in charity for every intimate moment you have with your loved one. Allahu akbar. Remember to have the correct intention and in shaa Allah your act will not go to waste. [Source: Muslim]

9. Spending On Your Family:

Most of us (I would hope) love our families and spending on them is something that gives us happiness. When your family are happy with you, it automatically makes you happy. Giving in order to see a smile on the face of your loved ones should bring you nothing but contentment and gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. However we know from authentic ahadith that rasulallah salallahu alayhi wa salam told us that with the correct intention of seeking to please Allah ‘azzawajal, spending on your family is an act of charity! Perfect your intentions and do not let any act that you could be rewarded for go to waste. Whatever you spend for only yourself is temporary but whatever you intend in the way of Allah will be kept safe with Him to be bestowed upon you on the day you need it most! [Source: Bukhari & Muslim]

10. Every Act of Goodness:

This sums it up perfectly. Every single act of good that is intended to be for the sake of Allah is regarded to be an act of charity. It doesn’t matter how minuscule and insignificant it is in your eyes or the eyes of those around you, with the correct intention, anything and everything can be an act of charity. As I have said throughout this post, our intentions make all the difference! [Source: Muslim]

Truly none of us have an excuse on yawm al qiyaamah with the multitude of opportunities Allah presents to us everyday, so take account of yourselves and make your book on that day one that is worth reading… May He grant Jannah to all of us, ameen.

Wallahu a’lam.

Guidance

Do you ever suffer from this nagging feeling of guilt due to inadequacy, stagnation, mediocrity and generally failing in your worship of Allah? Realise that this is the Mercy of Allah.

When we’re busy wasting our lives away in useless past-times, it’s only because of the undeserved love Allah has for us that we feel guilty and begin to hold ourselves to account. Instead of Allah (may He be glorified), punishing us and removing us far from His mercy because of the acts we commit, He instead plants a thought in our minds that lead us back to our true purpose. Subhan Allah. If us mere humans are wronged we would be quick to anger and quick to punishment yet we hold no true power. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala on the other hand, forgives and guides and safeguards us when we wrong Him in the worst ways though He holds all power & might to requite us for our wrongdoings.

  “Guilt after committing a sin is a blessing from Allah. Do not betray your conscience. Allah gave you an alarm system. Do not disable it.” – Dr Bilal Philips 

The point of this blog post is not to ignore even the smallest signs that Allah sends us for our guidance. Whether it is in the form of feeling guilty for not having read and pondered over the Qur’an in a long time or simply your internet crashing before you’re about to waste time watching a movie… If Allah willed He could leave you to your own devices and it would not affect Him in the slightest but it would only lead to your destruction.

 

Astaghfirullah ya Rabbi

 

 

Disciplining the Soul

For years I have always had this problem where I can never ever bring myself to re-read  books or re-watch lectures. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from 5 years ago or 5 days ago.. once I know I have experienced it once, I prefer to find something new instead. However, this Ramadan alhamdulilah by the will of Allaah I have come to realise that’s really very silly. To keep a long story short I began re-reading some books that I loved the first time around; namely a series written by the illustrious Abu’l Faraj ibn al Jawzi.. to me, only few come close to his eloquent way with words. Seriously.. May Allah have mercy on his soul and raise him to the highest of ranks, ameen.

One quote that did not strike me the first time I read this book (Disciplining the Soul) suddenly seemed so profound to me. I truly believe that remembering this quote will save us all from a world of heartache, regret and bi idhnillahi ta’aala will allow us to reign in our nafs that so foolishly tries to find satisfaction in a world that’s nothing more than a mirage. He said:

“The delight disappears after it is achieved but the sins remain after they are committed.” – ibn al Jawzi

Subhaan Allah. How true is this? You may so ardently wish to do or even say something that you know is displeasing to Allah just to get rid of that burning itch or craving… you give in to your nafs only to feel deeply unfulfilled afterwards and if Allaah has any mercy on you – you may even feel a sense of guilt. Once it’s done with, you realise it really was not worth it and now your left with a black mark on your heart that will take true sincerity and guidance from Allah to clear up.

Sins have an affect on us whether we see it or not.. In fact, not only do they affect us but they affect the way those around us treat us. They affect whether or  not your children obey you and even the way in which your wife interacts with you. Weigh these consequences up against the fleeting feeling of pleasure that giving in to your lowest self felt like and you will quickly realise you’ve committed the greatest injustice against your self.

The sins remain except for those Allah covers in His rahma.

Whenever you want to do anything that you know you won’t be happy seeing amongst your scroll of deeds, remember the above quote and be of those who have the intelligence to understand that permanent but delayed gratification is worlds better than immediate but temporary gratification.

I remember reading a quote of one of our Salaf that said something along the lines of.. bearing the regret after committing a sin is far more difficult than bearing the trial of patience in regards to it. True words…

May Allah have Mercy on us all and protect our hearts from the pains we inflict upon it.

Ameen.

 

The Theme of Three

After completing Surah Naml today I closed the mushaf and asked Allaah to give me an emaan boosting lesson from it by opening it three times at random and reflecting upon the ayaat & their meanings. SubhaanAllaah wa Alhamdulilah wa Allahu Akbar. Truly the Qur’an is sufficient as a cure for weaknesses in emaan.

The three stories or themes I landed on are truly a recipe for success. Namely: patience, du’aa & gratitude.

Patience was emphasised beautifully in the story of Musa ‘alayhi salaam & Khidr. Allaah plans in ways that we cannot understand but ultimately there is a wisdom behind it. Of knowledge we have been granted little but trust and faith in The Most Wise is enough for those who seek contentment. When it feels like things are not going your way or you are only being met with obstacles, rejections or trials – Allaah is planning behind the scenes and its only sometimes that we are given a glimpse of it. Be patient throughout all that befalls you and know that your understanding is truly deficient.

لوتعلمون كيف يدبر اموركم لذابت قلوبكم من محبته
“If you knew how Allah manages your affairs, your heart would melt out of love for Him.”

Patience does not mean that you give up seeking that which you believe is good for you in dunyaa and aakhirah. Du’aa is worship and Allaah loves those who ask of him continuously like a child pestering their parents. You remain patient until Allaah decrees what He decrees and you continue to humble yourself before Him & ask of His unlimited bounty. The du’aa of Musa ‘alayhi salaam when he was desperate for the help and blessings of Allaah to descend on him is a perfect example of humility and reliance upon the Most High as well as hope in Him.

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِير
“My Lord I am in absolute need of the good you send me.
 
The last ayah I fell upon was in Surah Nahl. Allaah speaks to our sense on gratitude when He talks about the many blessings He has already bestowed upon us. Allaah mentions the alternation of night and day and how He has made it subject to us, the beauty that sounds us that is of varying colours. Fresh food, clothing and so much more that we take for granted everyday subhaanAllaah. May He forgive us all. Allaah increases the one who is grateful in good as a reward for His gratefulness but we wouldn’t be grateful unless He inspired us and we are grateful for what He blessed us with in the first place! How can we not spend every moment in our lives thanking The One who’s Mercy has no limits. 
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ 
 
“If you are grateful, I will surely give you more and more.”
 
Patience, du’aa and gratitude, I have only covered these briefly but they go so, so much deeper beyond this. They are the qualities of the righteous whom Allaah blesses with Gardens of tranquility and it is a life-long journey fine-honing them. May Allaah grant us steadfastness, ameen.  

State of Mind

 

You will have times where you feel you can take on the world, your heart is in a constant state of remembrance to the point where you see a small ant and you do your best to prevent it from harm, seeking in it the reward and pleasure of Allaah. Times where nothing anyone says or does can bring you down from the spiritual bliss that’s within your soul. Times where you long for salaah and you wish it could last forever. A closeness to Allaah that can’t be described with words. The push and pull between your heart and dunya is manageable, in fact, all matters of this worldly life displease you except that which brings you closer to Allaah. 

Then there’s times where you slip up. At some point you have let your guard down against shaytaan and without realising the sweetness in your heart begins to fade away to the point where you are holding on to your salaah with every inch of you. Everything inside you starts to feel heavy, you have let the distractions of this world take your focus away from what’s lasting. You complete your dhikr after your salaah but your heart is no longer there the way it was before. You long to wake up for Tahajjud but slumber overpowers your soul at every opportunity. Our emaan is prone to fluctuation, the way you feel after spending hours in circles of remembrance and halaqaat is going to be starkly different from the way you feel whilst staring at your computer at work.
If this was the case for the best of the best, those who’s footsteps we follow ardently, the sahaabah of rasulallah صلى الله عليهوسلم, radhi Allahu anhum ajma’een, then what can be said for us?
 
[‘…By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and on your paths. However, Hanzalah, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation).’ He (the holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said this thrice.] – Sahih Muslim
May Allaah take our souls when our emaan is at its highest and may He forgive us for our heedlessness… verily man was created weak. 

Sincerity

I start this blog with the name of Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. 
I want to remind myself of an important concept within Islam, a concept which should be at the forefront of our minds whenever we do or think about doing any action. Ikhlaas/ Sincerity. 
 
The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم taught us that, in order for an action to benefit you in dunya & akhira, it needs to be;
1. Sincere 
2. Correct
 
If you follow the sunnah of our beloved nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم, the latter shouldn’t be too difficult. The struggle becomes real when we try to implement sincerity. Actions free from riyaa, sum’a & i’jaab. When your nafs is naturally drawn towards that which pleases it superficially but corrupts it internally, you’re in a constant battle with your own self. When shaytaan wants to draw you away from those Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى.refers to as ‘al-mukhlasin’ (the sincere), you’re in a constant battle and you can’t afford to slip up. The minute you allow the love of praise, status or pride to enter your heart, the minute you risk losing your place amongst al-mukhlasin.
“The deeds with no sincerity is like the one who carries dirt in their water jug, it burdens him and it will avail him in no way.”
I ask Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى to grant me sincerity in all my actions and I ask Allaah to make this blog a benefit for myself in dunya & akhira and to protect me from the poisons of insincerity. Ameen.